10 Italian Dishes You Must Try In Italy (That Aren’t Pizza)
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Almost everyone loves pizza and when you go to Italy, there is no doubt that you will find some of the best pizza in the world there. But pizza is only one small part of the incredibly diverse culinary offering of Lo Stivale and if you are heading to Rome, Venice or any of the other incredible cities in Italy in the future, here are ten dishes that you absolutely have to try – and none of them are pizza.
Basically, these are chicken cutlets, but the way that they are prepared is out of this world – or at least pretty much restricted to the world in Italy. Saltimbocca means “jumps into your mouth” loosely translated and that’s exactly what these delicious chicken morsels do.
Not everyone likes veal (which is basically just beef from a very young cow) but for those that do, Veal Marsala is the go-to dish in Italy. The Marsala wine sauce is combined with delicious mushrooms and scallions and if you decide you can’t handle the veal you can always make it with chicken or do Sirloin Marsala instead.
You’ve never had Fettuccine Alfredo until you have had it in Italy. This is prepared with an amazingly creamy and super thick Alfredo sauce and extremely wide Fettuccini noodles. Sometimes chicken is combined with this meal like in America but not often and it doesn’t really matter because even without the chicken, there is plenty of flavor to go around.
Mostly found in the Venuto region, Bigoli is like spaghetti, only much, much better. Bigoli has really thicken noodles with holes in the middle and the sauce is made from roasted duck, veggies and a red wine, which the Italians seem to use in just about everything. With a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top and some parsley this is the perfect dish.
Shrimp fra Diavolo
Fair warning – this is not a dish for those who abhor spicy food. But if you can handle a little spice, this delicious red sauce is served with all kinds of food and it definitely makes them better. Diavolo is a word that means “devil” in Italian, and with crushed red peppers and garlic, this sauce lives up to it, especially when combined with delicious, fat shrimp.
Next on the list is a treat called Aracini, which are basically stuffed rice balls that are fried and then coated with breadcrumbs. The balls are filled with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and peas, as well as regional foods, including meat once in a while.
If your experience with lasagna is pretty much limited to the Stouffers ready-to-cook that you find in the freezer section, then you are going to be absolutely amazed at the difference when you eat your first piece of lasagna (or lasagne) in Italy. It is made similiarly with layers of pasta, that are filled with ground beef and other meats, veggies, several different sauces and of course, cheese, cheese and more cheese.
Tortellini en Brodo
You can find lots of varieties of tortellini in Italy, with much of it served with a thick, creamy sauce, but tortellini en brood is served with a thin soupy chicken sauce that is filled with veal and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, usually covered in Parmesan. This is one of the most delicious ways to eat tortellini in Italy.
Torrone is going to be the perfect complement to the delicious dinner dishes that have been described here. Torrone is a dessert, a candy-like dessert that is made with honey, egg whites, roasted nuts and citrus flavoring and sold in thick slaps of sticky nougat. You can often find it dipped in chocolate if you want to make it even better.
Da Danilo is pasta with black pepper and guanciale (pork jowl) with eggs. This is something that you’ll find mostly in Rome but you can look in other cities for it. There are variations but this is a light Italian food that will satisfy your taste buds without all of the heaviness of the other delicious menu items that make up this list.